Throughout the tournament Navratilova was a walking paid political announcement. She lectured tirelessly on Colorado's Amendment 2, which repealed gay-rights legislation in that state. Amendment 2 has become the target of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, to which Navratilova has added her name as a plaintiff. A resident of Aspen, she has said she will move if the amendment is not found unconstitutional. Last week she was writing an opinion piece for USA Today on the Colorado controversy, and she has been outspoken on the right of gays and lesbians to serve in the military. "Wouldn't you want me on the front lines?" says Navratilova.
An avowed liberal, she says some form of public advocacy will be her next calling. "I'm for fairness and equality, and I'm against prejudice," she says. "So I guess that makes me a radical liberal to some."
Navratilova the tennis player has always been a finely tuned piece of machinery, and too often lately her mind has wandered or her body has complained. She employs a constant rotation of masseuses and chiropractors to cure small pains. "It's one thing or the other," she says. "When both the mind and the body go, then there will be no hope."
Navratilova can't close the door on opponents the way she once did. Witness Sunday's match. She served for the first set and made a diving forehand volley to take a 3-1 lead in the second, but Seles swept the next eight games. "She just hit it harder," said Navratilova incredulously.
The titles have slowed to a trickle. Navratilova finished the year by reaching four straight finals but won only one of them. Still, she plans a full schedule for next year and gets testy when others imply that this year may have been her last. "I'll be there," she says. "If you don't see me, it will be because you didn't show up."